Author Topic: Lyme disease  (Read 9165 times)

Oakleaf

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2014, 10:29:55 AM »
Yet again interesting thread I hadn't seen before.

Aside from clients, I suspect  that tick bites/ Lymes is one of the biggest hazards for professional stalkers.  Just from personal experience, I know far more stalkers who have contracted the disease than have had near death events with clients - and they can land some corkers on you.

I fully take on board Adi's points regards verification/ research.  My own approach is based on likely far shallower fact finding than he advocates, so should be read as such.

Having moved from Cannock ( an early hotspot ) to Scotland and taking up spending a great deal of time laying in and crawling through vegetation, I do get regular tick bites.  Starting out from nil knowledge base, I'll confess to plucking them out - then often having to pick out the remaining bits and 'progressing' to giving them a squirt of DEET.  I cringe now at the thought!

I have met a number of BADA members - they often have a table in the Scottish Gamekeepers Association tent at various Country Fairs. We carry their awareness leaflets and hand them out on courses and on our stand at such events.  To be honest ( and again taking Adi's point fully ) I never thought to closely scrutinise the medical thoroughness of their stance.  That aside, awareness alone is a hugely important issue.  Knowledge amongst GPs is improving and I know it is one of the key areas BADA work on.  Typically I can't find the source to reference here - it was direct from BADA or from them via the SGA - advising that if visiting the GP with any symptoms/ such issues, we should emphasise that we were professional stalkers and had received a tick bite - with dates etc. and push the issue of potential Lymes infection.

BADA promote the Otom and that's what I use.  The basis for my choosing it was partly the BADA recommendation, but also from ( as confessed limited) own research.  The mouth parts of the tick have fine barbs on them - helping secure the tick in the skin.  The recommended technique of rotating the tick out was suggested as one of the best ways to help these barbs 'retract' allowing full extraction of the tick with less risk of regurgitation. That just made sense to me.

Getting many tick bites a year, I have not had any issues using the tool and its fairly goof proof for clients etc - we always advise a thorough check before turning in for the night and our service doesn't extend to tucking .

Locally there have still been instances of medical staff - usually at nursing level - advising smearing with vaseline or using one of the patch type removal products.  So as noted, remains contentious in terms of best practise advice.

In general,  many people tend to be a bit lax in terms of antiseptic use/ wound care.  I use either Savlon - and quite like their dry spray, which is great on pigs ( but that's a WHOLE  different story  :) )  but most often carry several Tisept sachets - which run about 20-40p each cost wise.  Tisept has proven very effective generally - again anecdotal on my part only. 

One of the most common infection events is if the stalker or client break their skin whilst gralloching a male deer during the rut, with Red Stags in Sept-Oct being the worst.  For some reason, the infection risk seems much higher and the reactions more severe.  I do not know the full reason why.  Possibly it is to do with blood chemistry and the testosterone or other hormonal levels in their blood.  It may also link to their activity - peat wallowing in urine rich muck etc.  But then Roe Bucks do not do that but still show ( though not as bad as Red ) increased likelihood of infection.

Having watched the 'red line of death' progress up the arm ( during the course of breakfast! )of a gung ho colleague stalker who had nicked his finger gralloching a stag the day before, I tend to douse with tisept at the slightest provocation  ;D

On the Bushcraft side,  pine resin - particularly the copious product from blisters on the Noble Fir  seem highly antiseptic and do a great job protecting cuts.

But in short, treat any bite like a skin break wound and clean it. 


captain paranoia

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2014, 10:56:46 PM »
The thing to note about the TickAlert website is that it is an 'infomercial' website, owned and run by Baxter Healthcare, makers of a TBE vaccine.

Oakleaf

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2014, 09:13:27 AM »
Somewhat in the vein Capt P writes, I meant to add that some of the larger sporting retailers have been selling a self test kit.

Strictly not self test I suppose - you retain the removed tick and test it.  Not looked further into it as we have switched on GPs and hospital up here that do take Lymes seriously and are on the look out for it.  No matter the state of the NHS, I'd rather rely on them!  :)

From reading I believe that the risk of transmission  is extremely small during the first 24 hours and despite having a 'large surface area'  :-\  I'm used to picking up all sorts of travelling companions from crawling about so much and check daily in any event.

Even the barbers up here are used to casually picking out various creepy crawlies from stalkers hair.

Interestingly ticks seem to favour certain people.  It is believed that ticks are attracted to light colours and initially thought that was it. But most clients etc are dressed toward the 'drab' spectrum.  At the risk of exaggeration; I have had two clients that were positively the Pied Piper of ticks.  Laying up you could see ticks gravitate toward them - think mini version of the Velocirapters in the long grass scene from Jurassic Park.  These guys are great to drag along as a sacrificial anode - I got zero attachments whilst they acquired ticks into the teens  8)

I suppose Capt P's point is an extention of the PLB v SPOT debate - institution v commercial support/ outlook.

And of course, midge season approaches too!

boogyman

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2014, 09:52:26 AM »
Interestingly ticks seem to favour certain people.

I can certainly confirm that statement -- when I hike with my wife, she seems to attract all the ticks thereby "protecting" me. And that happens not just once, it happens every time.

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2014, 05:48:01 PM »
Yes, there is definitely something in these little blighters which attracts them to certain individuals. A similar story is that open camping (just your sleeping bag) a few years back with John, up near Aberfeldy, that evening he got literally dozens of ticks, from just walking around the area we had marked out to camp, and I got none.
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

Oakleaf

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2014, 07:53:19 AM »
Only just seen the statement on the BADA website here - http://www.bada-uk.org/

The registered charity is in the process of closing.  The website will continue until Dec 2015 it is hoped.

Appears to be a case that income was insufficient to keep going.

Yorric

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2014, 10:14:10 AM »
As prevention is better than cure I've been thinking of trying some of the Rovince range of clothing - It's quite expensive but probably well worth it compared to the cost of multiple visits to the quack.
Has anyone tried this Rovince clothing, & how effective does it prove to be - especially over time & multiple cleaning cycles?

On a similar subject - that of mozzie & midges - Last year I got some Nikwax Skito-Stop spray & treated my clothes with it. I was wondering if it helps against ticks too??? I still have a bottle & will be applying it to the trousers again this spring - i.e. NOW! as we are starting to get reports of massive infestations not far from here in the Highlands.
I just looked for the Skito-Stop on Google & it appears that it may have been discontinued ?????  The only product they (Nikwax) show is one with a built in sun screen & not the stuff for clothing & tents.  :-\

Ian

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2014, 10:45:55 AM »
Personally I always use the yellow oil containing DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) and it is bullet-proof! It has protected me everywhere from the Amazonian Rainforest to the Scottish southern Uplands.

It comes in for a lot of stick, unfairly I believe, probably because it was developed years ago by the US Military. Plus, it is as cheap as chips, so manufacturers of newer replants and ‘conspiracy netnurds’ promote scare stories. Used correctly, it protects against the vast majority of biting insects, including ticks, mosquitos and fleas.

After years of using it and speaking with experts in the field, these are my recommendations for the correct application of DEET Products
(as always, a matter of common sense).

Use a concentration with 30% DEET in the UK
Use a concentration with 50% DEET in tropical/rainforest environments
Do not use under clothing, as it can act as a skin irritant
Never be used on damaged/broken skin
DEET can dissolve some plastics, such as rayon and spandex, so it should be applied to a small test area of a garment 24hrs before you intend to apply it the rest of the garment
When the DEET is no longer needled on your garments, wash them


PS Don’t buy it from the likes of eBay, because it may not be what it says on the label! Personally, if not issued with it, I buy mine from Boots the Chemist
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 10:48:33 AM by Lyle Brotherton »
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

Oakleaf

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2014, 12:14:33 PM »
Yorric - your 'new best mate' Dave has a set of Rovince, it would be worth chatting with him.  He never looked overly comfortable in the gear - but I'm not about to pot- kettle- black  any comments on body shape!  ;)  I think it did as advertised, but was such a tight weave that he over heated in it.

DEET - like tick attraction, I suspect there is an element of body chemistry at work in these things.  Quite aside from the slightly unnerving situation of being in the company of big burly guys all sweetly smelling of Avon Skin So Soft  ( which many swear by ),  it never worked for me - I just ended up slightly oily, covered in thousands of stuck midges - all of whom's dying wish was to bite me.

Similar lack of success with Smidge etc - virtually anything bearing the words friendly, sensitive skin, organic or natural just never works on me. But I know others love them.

The only certain substance for me is 50% or better DEET.  Yes every professional stalker's steering wheel is rotting, it makes your lips go numb and in seriousness it does require sensible use. But having witnessed forest workers douse themselves in red diesel to get respite from the midge menace, I'll trade some inconvenience for respite.

I have cut down on amounts by utilising a midge jacket during the summer.  Strangely I have very sensitive skin, but have not had any bad reaction to DEET - despite the clear memory of handing in an AR-18 many years ago with my finger impressions DEET etched into the grip and handguard!

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2014, 12:53:48 PM »
Oakleaf, I have heard the skin reaction hypothesis before, which may be correct however, Brad, who I was on tour with, was using the then US Tropical Issue 90% DEET concentrate. Most research deems the 30% safe and the 50% to be used cautiously, so 90% is off the Richter Scale in my book.

I got him to try the 50% I was using and remember observing that he was not applying as much as I did. I pour a quantity of the DEET concentrate into the cupped palm of my hand, then rub onto the exposed areas of my body, I don’t spray it.

It’s also worth noting that it should not be applied simultaneously with sun screen since DEET has been shown to reduce the efficacy of both when used together. Better to apply the sunscreen an hour before you apply the DEET.

Might be worth trying when your next out.
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

captain paranoia

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2014, 03:25:16 PM »
British Army issue some 3M combined sunblock/DEET lotion in (unsurprisingly) a green squeezy tube.

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2014, 09:21:19 AM »
From 3M’s own website (http://solutions.3m.com.hk/wps/portal/3M/en_HK/Ultrathon_Home/Main/FAQ/#target11)

“Sunscreens and insect repellents may be used together on exposed skin. However, there is some evidence showing that DEET can reduce the efficacy of sunscreens when applied to the same area. One study showed as much as 33% decrease in sun protection (SPF) when a 33% DEET lotion was simultaneously applied. Therefore, when applying a sunscreen and DEET repellent, user should reapply the sunscreen more frequently to prevent sunburns.”

Bottom-line, don’t apply these products together.
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

Pete McK

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Re: Lyme disease
« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2014, 10:45:33 AM »
Because of Health & Safety and all that, when we take the pupils on their field trips we cannot supply any insect repellents for them, and most have forgotton that it was on their prep-list anyway. Instead, we avoid walking through high ferns and bracken and make sure the kids are wearing long trousers, preferably stuffed into their socks. So far, in more than a dozen field trips, we have only had a handful of kids who have picked up any ticks and these tended to be the usual suspects who ignored our instruction ;)

The item of kit we do carry and use when they get as tick is the O'Tom Tick Remover and it works every time.